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The Marathon Conspiracy

(The Athenian Mysteries #4)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  327 ratings  ·  60 reviews
The rollicking fourth book in the Nicolaos and Diotima mystery series set in Classical Athens.

Nicolaos, Classical Athens’s favorite sleuth, and his partner in investigation, the clever priestess Diotima, have taken time off to come home and get married. But hoping to get hitched without a hitch proves overly optimistic: A skull discovered in a cave near the Sanctuary of Ar
ebook, 368 pages
Published April 29th 2014 by Soho Crime (first published January 1st 2014)
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  327 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Description: Nicolaos, Classical Athens's favorite sleuth, and his partner in investigation, the clever ex-priestess Diotima, have taken time out of their assignments to come home to get married. But if Nico was hoping they'd be able to get hitched without a hitch, he was overly optimistic. When they arrive in Athens, there's a problem waiting for them.

The Sanctuary of Artemis is the ancient world's most famous school for girls. When one of the children is killed, apparently by a bear, and anoth
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Just as fun as his others.

For a further review: .
Lance McMurchy
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well I have to say, this book is the best in the series so far. Corby is really getting the hang of writing these murder mysteries. He neatly combines: the development of young, aristocratic girls to adulthood; the social workings of marriage and divorce; and the battle of Marathon, all within a classical Greece setting. There are few asides where I start to think, this is going away from the main story but I, actually, quite enjoyed being taken to another aspect of Greek society. A lot of thoug ...more
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received The Marathon Conspiracy as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

Nicolaos, happily engaged to his partner Diotima, finds himself in the midst of another mystery when his patron, Pericles, presents him with the decades-old remains of Hippias, Athens' hated last tyrant. Given his lack of popularity, there is no shortage of professed murderers coming out of the woodwork to confess to the deed. The discovery of Hippias comes alongside to other apparent crimes: the murder of a young female student,
Karen A. Wyle
I'm rounding up a bit, but this is my favorite book so far in one of my favorite series of historical fiction.

Our young detective Nico is still learning, but may be slowly beginning to make fewer mistakes. He and his partner in investigation, priestess Diotima, make an impressive team -- though who knows if they would succeed without the occasional interjections of Nico's younger brother? Even as a child, and one whose precocity and recklessness frequently annoy Nico, Socrates is a good fellow t
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite-2017
A quick, fun, satisfying read.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow-paced , for my liking, but fascinating to learn about life in ancient Greece and of renowned names
Sheri South
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I entered a Goodreads giveaway for this book because the cover caught my eye, and to my surprise, I won! Because I'm the author of several romances as well as historical mysteries, I chose to go back and begin with the first book of the series, so I could follow the relationship between 21-year-old Nicolaos and Diotima. What a find! I was torn between reading four books in the series back-to-back in order to post a review more quickly, and pacing myself so I could savor them. In the end I settle ...more
I love a good bear story and this one is a doozie. The bear in question is falsely accused of murder and is also a symbol of the Goddess Artemis. Set in ancient Greece, Corby weaves a tale of mystery that keeps his protagonist Nicolaos, an Athenian investigator, on his toes. Assisting Nico are his fiancée Diotima, a woman ahead of her time, and his little brother Socrates, very bright but annoying, especially to his older brother.

Entertaining and a lesson in Greek history as well, the author in
Another enjoyable light and frothy mystery set in ancient Periclean Greece. This time out, from a young ladies' academy at a temple complex one girl is killed--[by a bear??], another has disappeared; later on the fiancé of one of them is found dead in a Sacred Pool on the premises. An unsolved conspiracy of 30 years before involving Hippias, Tyrant of Athens and the Battle of Marathon is involved: who participated, how and why? Partners Nico and ex-priestess Diotima aided by Nico's pesky brother ...more
Mysteries...are not my thing.

I find this a frustrating fact about myself. I keep trying them because, well, I'm a big fan of reading challenges and mysteries often have some thematic element that fits the requirements for whatever challenge I'm working on. I like to keep an open mind, too. Most of the time I feel as though is I don't like a certain section of literature it's because I haven't found the right book.

This...isn't that book. (But it IS set in Greece, so there's that challenge task co
Clay Kallam
The combination of Classical Athens and classic murder mysteries -- with the obligatory gathering of the suspects at the end -- is an attractive one, but in the fourth installment of The Athenian Mysteries, Gary Corby took the easy way out too often, resulting in a limp and uninteresting tale. And that's saying something coming from me, whose interest in the ancient world is pretty much off the charts.

This complex plot involving protagonist Nicolaos and his fiancee Diotima can't stand up to much
Jane Irish Nelson
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mystery
Two young girls find a skeleton in a cave near the temple were they are living in a sort of finishing school; and it turns out that Diotima was also once a student there. Then one of the girls is killed, apparently torn apart by a bear, and Nico is hired to discover the murderer, as well as to identify the skeleton. At the same time, plans are finally underway for Nico and Diotima's wedding — if their parents can only agree on who to invite! As usual in this series, it provides an interesting gl ...more
Vicki Kohl
Enjoyed this. You can pick up/refresh your knowledge of Ancient Greek history/mythology while enjoying a mystery. And, Socrates as the somewhat annoying younger brother of the main character, Nicolaos, is a fun touch. At one point Socrates' instructor throws him out of his school because he asks too many questions—Ha!
Angie Boyter
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an enjoyable series! Interesting story, enjoyable characters, and lots of fun information about life and government and war in ancient Greece. In this one I even learned a bit about bears!
Darn! There is only one left in the series that I haven't read! Corby better start writing another!
Sylvia Dugan
I enjoy the historical information that is contained in this series about ancient Greece along with the mystery that needs to be solved by Nicolaos and Diotima.
Mary K.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life in Athens just after the time of the Battle of Marathon.... Who knew ancient history could be so fun.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The usual mix of historic detail and murder mystery. This time the plot goes back 30 years to the Battle of Marathon.

A solid entry in the series and worth your valuable reading time.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
D. B.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not typically one for historical fiction, but I am one for detective novels. The idea of a detective story set in Ancient Greece sounded interesting, and it turned out to be a very well-constructed mystery with great characters (some historical, some fictional) and at times hilarious writing.

The story involves the discovery of a skeleton in a cave; one of the two girls who discovered it was murdered, and the other has gone missing. Our hero, the investigator Nicolaos, suspects the culprit ma
This is a great historical mystery series. These stories take place during the time of city-states within what is now Greece. Athens was the only cit-state to be a direct democracy and was watched with interest by everyone else.

I really enjoy the historical aspects of this series. To learn more about government, individual rights, property ownership, and citizenship is really amazing. Mr. Corby does a great job of giving enough information but not bogging the story down in too much detail.

This b
When the skeleton of Athens’ last tyrant ruler before democracy is found near a girls’ school, Nicolaos (Athens’ best and only detective) and his fiance’ Diotima are called upon to investigate. The problem is that the tyrant, Hippias was supposed to have died in Persia, but instead his body has been found in Greece near the site of the battle of Marathon and the evidence indicates that he had been murdered. It seems to Nico that everyone wants to take credit for having killed Hippias, but they c ...more
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well. This goes to show you how inaccurate the star rating system can be! I did like this book; it was well-plotted and the prose was clear and easy to read. It also gave the reader (at least, this reader!) a lot of good information on Greece in the decades after the battle of Marathon. And there were some wonderful scenes, and the ending was touching. Yet-

I did not love it as much as I love the Ruso mysteries, and I think there are two reasons for that. First, I was not as invested in the chara
Beth Asmaa
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read the first three books of the author's ancient Greece mystery series, I can say that this book is the most intriguing in its plot developments so far. (There's a fifth in the series I have yet to read.) The series focuses on life in classical Greece (5th-century-BCE) with many "legendary" (real-life) characters of Athenian culture. In this sequel, Nico and Diotima are off to solve another mystery, this one stemming from an event of thirty years previous during an earlier generation of ...more
Tom Donaghey
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, history
THE MARATHON CONSPIRACY is the latest installment in the ancient Greek crime series. Nicolaos, Nico to his friends, is once again set by Pericles to investigate a murder. The bones of the tryant Hippias, the most hated man in the Athenian world, have been found along with five, or was it four scrolls, near the temple of Artemis at Brauron, a girl’s finishing school. Two of the girls go missing, one found torn to shreds. Nico and his soon-to-be wife, the brilliant Diotima, seek clues to the crim ...more
John Walker
This is the fourth in the Nicholaos & Diotima mystery series by Gary Corby. Those of you who read the first three were farther ahead of the game than I. A co-worker loaned this book to me saying that I would enjoy it and I did but as always wished I had read the first three before.
There is a skull found from the Sanctuary of Artemis ( sorry I failed to mention this place in ancient Greece ) Pericles sends out Nicholas the investigator to see if this skull in the infamous tyrant, Hippias, wh
I do like this series but this is not the best of the batch. Much of it was back-story about the Battle of Marathon and subsequent fallout political & personal involving characters other than our hero and his family. It does however involve Diotima's girlhood school and some unfinished business in her life. I was sad that young Socrates didn't have a lot to do this time. Did enjoy the preparations for Niko & Diotima's wedding including Niko's work to renovate his father's house to accomm ...more
Diane Close
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Thank goodness Gary Corby returned to form with this outstanding addition to the series. After the last book disappointed me so much, I almost skipped this one. I'm glad I didn't!

If you can stand the modern pop-culture references tossed in every once in a while ("Can you tell me how to get to Sesamon Street?"), then there's lots to love in this mystery set in ancient Greece. The book was readable, nicely paced and the mystery was interesting too. I enjoyed the various twists, and stayed with it
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series has gotten better with each book. In The Marathon Conspiracy Nico and Diotima investigate the murder of one girl and the disappearance of another, events which are apparently related to the death, 30 years earlier, of the tyrant Hippias. It's all rather complicated and confused, with red herrings strewn liberally on the trail, but in the end Nico reveals all.

The author does a terrific job of staying close to historical accuracy and conveying some sense of life in Athens, while still
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another humorous volume in this light-hearted series that takes place in Periclean Athens. Corby is able to weave seamlessly Athenian history, customs, and politics in this mystery that focuses on the Temple of Artemis at Brauron, where well-born 13/14 year-olds go to experience the passage from childhood to puberty. The investigation of Nico and Diotima focuses on a skeleton found near the temple and a corpse of one of the young girls apparently mutilated by a bear. The interplay between Nico a ...more
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I'm the author of the Athenian Mysteries.

Nicolaos, the ambitious son of a minor sculptor, walks the mean streets of Classical Athens as an agent for the promising young politician Pericles.

Murder and mayhem don't faze Nico; what's really on his mind is how to get closer (much closer) to Diotima, the intelligent and annoyingly virgin priestess of Artemis, and how to shake off his irritating 12 yea

Other books in the series

The Athenian Mysteries (7 books)
  • The Pericles Commission (The Athenian Mysteries, #1)
  • The Ionia Sanction (The Athenian Mysteries, #2)
  • Sacred Games (The Athenian Mysteries, #3)
  • Death Ex Machina (The Athenian Mysteries, #5)
  • The Singer from Memphis (The Athenian Mysteries #6)
  • Death on Delos (The Athenian Mysteries, #7)